No matter how “little ants” the parents are, they should know that in the first months it is better for the child to pass away from sweets and other foods that carry sugar. The main reason is that in the beginning of life the little one’s taste buds are developing, so any habit related to food tends to perpetuate itself.
And if families thought of honey as a more natural option to sweeten their recipes, know that although more positive for health, the ingredient should also not be offered at the beginning of the food introduction – and the first reason has to do with its possible contamination with the transmitter of botulism, a rare disease.
“Honey should not be offered until the age of 12 months, as the baby has a more immature organism. Thus, if the ingredient is contaminated with this bacterium (Clostridium botulinum), the damage to health can be much more intense ”, explains maternal and child nutritionist Viviane Vieira.
So when is the honey released?
The Brazilian Society of Pediatrics (SBP) recommends that honey not be included in the first year of life, but some experts even suggest waiting longer, at least until the child turns two.
“This has to do with the recommendation about not offering sweets before the second year. Although honey is powerful, its greatest constitution is fructose and sucrose, two simple sugars that ‘delight’ everyone’s taste buds. For someone who is discovering flavors, it is highly recommended to avoid foods with such an intense sweet taste ”, adds Viviane.
How to present honey?
First of all, it is worth the care with the origin. Because of the risk of contamination, child nutritionist Melina Cortegoso indicates that parents prioritize pasteurized honey, because it goes through a process that kills bacteria, making it safe for the child.
Regarding the preparation, the expert suggests that honey be used in recipes to replace sugar or if the parents want to use a little bit to sweeten the fruit, as in avocado, which is not so sweet. “But put a small amount, so that the child does not get the taste very accustomed to the candy,” she recalls.
The ingredient can also be an interesting option to sweeten fruit juices, but always trying to encourage children to take fresh. “We can add lemon or passion fruit juice, which is the sourest fruit. But those that are sweeter, like orange, I recommend avoiding, because in addition to already having enough sugar, there is the carbohydrate of the fruit itself, leaving the child with very caloric preparation and may even favor a situation of childhood obesity “, comments Melina .
Is there a maximum daily dose?
According to Viviane, there is no amount of honey suitable for children’s consumption, but the recommendation that foods with sugar be no more than one or two servings per day for the child.
Although there is no prescription for a maximum dose, the reminder of use the ingredient sparingly it is still valid so that the little one does not fail to appreciate the natural flavor of the food.
The benefits of honey
Despite being a source of energy that we would be able to obtain from other foods, the ingredient has its positive points, such as Melina list. “Honey has several bioactive antioxidant nutrients. For this reason, it brings many benefits to the body: it helps the child’s intestinal health (unlike sugar, which destroys the intestinal microbiota), improves immune defenses, helps to reduce blood pressure, among others, ”he says. Not to mention its therapeutic properties, which favor health in general.
See 4 recipes with mouthwatering honey!
* Consult your pediatrician to confirm that the following foods are released in the baby’s diet.
1. Chia pudding
- 2 cups of homemade coconut milk tea
- 2 tablespoons chia seed
- Fruits to taste (strawberry, apple, berries)
- 1 teaspoon of honey of good origin
Beat the coconut milk with the chia in the blender for 20 seconds and do this 5 times with a 1 minute interval. Add the honey and then transfer to two cups, filling halfway up the glass. Put the mixture in the refrigerator for 24 hours and at the time of eating add the chosen and sanitized fruit.
2. Honey cake with green banana flour
- 3 eggs
- 2 cups of green banana flour
- 1 cup of rice drink
- 1 shallow cup of honey
- 3/4 cup cocoa powder
- 3 tablespoons of oil
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
Beat the egg whites and set aside. Mix the other ingredients and then add the egg whites. Place on greased baking sheet and bake for approximately 30 minutes.
3. American pancake
- 2 eggs
- 1 banana
- 1 tablespoon of oat bran
- 1 dessert spoon of oil
- Honey to taste for topping
Mix all ingredients in a blender. With a ladle and a non-stick frying pan, prepare the discs over medium heat. When ready, remove and pour. If you want to add coverage, add honey or fruit jelly.
4. Banana mug cake with honey
- 1 mashed banana
- 1 this
- 1 tablespoon of oat bran
- 1 tablespoon of honey
- 1 tablespoon of milk
- 15 grams of chopped 60-70% chocolate
- 1 teaspoon of yeast
Mix all the ingredients in the cup and, when the mixture is homogeneous, add the yeast. Microwave for 3 minutes.
* Recipes suggested by nutritionists Andrezza Botelho and Melina Cortegoso